Jump to content


Photo

Film History Curriculum


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 David Sweetman

David Sweetman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts
  • Student

Posted 30 October 2006 - 03:14 PM

I'm interested in seeing what you think should be covered in a film history class - not just specific films to be shown, but also in regards to technology, interpretation, theory, and style. Also, which texts would you choose for the class? Kind of a broad question, I know, mostly I'm just looking for what is most important in the history of film.
  • 0

#2 Jason Debus

Jason Debus
  • Sustaining Members
  • 311 posts
  • Student
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 30 October 2006 - 03:27 PM

Also, which texts would you choose for the class?

For history of narrative film our school uses this one:

A History of Narrative Film, Fourth Edition

It's pretty comprehensive with names, techniques, films, and technology. It's strictly narrative film though so it doesn't cover documentaries.
  • 0

#3 Douglas Hunter

Douglas Hunter
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 356 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 30 October 2006 - 03:44 PM

I'm interested in seeing what you think should be covered in a film history class - not just specific films to be shown, but also in regards to technology, interpretation, theory, and style. Also, which texts would you choose for the class? Kind of a broad question, I know, mostly I'm just looking for what is most important in the history of film.


For my money I've always been disapointed when film history classes have a narrow focus on the industrial film practices that became instutionalized for the sake of creating Hollywood narrative films. This is to say that there are many film histories not one, so to say that something is "most important" depends very much on one's social, aesthetic, historical values and areas of interest.

Do you want to learn about Hollywood musicals, Post war Soviet cinema, the American avant-garde, lesbian and feminist cinema, televison journalism, African cinema, the role of avant gade filmmakers in hollywood film making, grass roots cinema, home movies, etc? That's just naming a few, no class or book is capable of dealing with them all. There are some good books that cover some topics individually but not as many as one would hope.

Same goes for interpertation, theory and style. But the bigger problem here is that most production students hate film theory because it appears too far removed from the pragmatics of being on set and getting a job, so they reject it on that level alone. Toss in the fact that it takes a lot of effort to get the intellectual back ground necessary to understand it and they roll their eyes and try to get into another class. However the usefullness of applied aesthetics courses would (I hope) be self evident to any production students. Bruce block's book the Visual Story is the best text out there in that regard. Its to the point and rigorous but it takes a reader with imagination to take the principles in it and apply them well to making a film.
  • 0

#4 Alex Wuijts

Alex Wuijts
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 181 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 31 October 2006 - 08:28 AM

Bordwell en Thompsons 'Film History' and 'Film Art' are pretty common here. You get a very good idea of specific films, technology, interpretation and style. Alhough Bordwell and Thompson have given these books a theoretical basis related to Russian Formalism, it's not really apparent, i think. I don't think theory should be discussed in film history class, but i think film history should be discussed in film theory class haha.
  • 0

#5 Dan Salzmann

Dan Salzmann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Paris, France

Posted 31 October 2006 - 10:49 AM

"Film Style & Technology" By Barry Salt is required reading for this subject. Truly fascinating, informative and well illustrated.
  • 0


Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Opal

Visual Products

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

CineLab

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine